Today I wrote my CEO…

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…whom I’ve never met, an unsolicited letter about social media. Here is the email in its entirety.

I figure I’ll either get fired or promoted.

Why doesn’t Pearson have podcasts? Why aren’t we interviewing actual teachers, showing them what we’re working on, and them asking them for input in a transparent, completely public setting? We could ask them their views on teaching initiatives, problems in the classroom and what they would like in order for this to work. Having regular, informal conversations would be a great way to really connect with our clients instead of just marketing to them.

I’ve heard of the projects Matt Murphy has been working on, but over-produced author videos is just another way of using old media techniques in an entirely new realm. With emerging technologies like Twitter and other Social Media applications, it doesn’t seem that Pearson has immersed itself in the real phenomenon, which is a conversation with our prospective clients. After attending PodCampAZ (www.podcampaz.org) I’ve realized there are so many little things that small companies are doing that are making them extremely successful. All of us from large companies (Pearson, Intel, Microsoft) were there only for our own benefit for side projects. There’s such an untapped talent pool there.

How cool would it be to have iPhone versions of our products? EnVision Math-lite? Sure, not every student would be able to access it, but it would be a free download. The ability for teachers to upload short quizzes for further review would at the best least be a compelling news story.

It feels that the education market is always about ten years behind the tech world, and I understand we move with that, but why can’t a small portion of what we do be looking ahead? If it’s intimate, conversational and easily accessible, people will listen. Techies will listen. Pearson will be recognized as not only an educational giant, but a forward thinking company capable of setting and influencing policy rather than just making what we have better.

Tyler HurstToday I wrote my CEO…

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